The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


The importance of change

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Oct 28, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

World Series Rangers Giants BaseballDespite the inconvenience of my cable provider, I managed to watch almost all of last night’s World Series game. I met my good friend Sweeny Murti and watched the San Francisco Giants do the impossible: Beat Cliff Lee in October. Granted, the Rangers defense was a mess, but that Giants offense was a legitimate force.

One thing that stood out:

The heart of the Giants order — 3, 4 and 5 — was not with the team on opening day. Buster Posey was called up from Triple-A on May 29. That same day Pat Burrell was signed after his DFA from Tampa. Cody Ross was claimed off waivers from Florida on August 23. The team’s No. 2 hitter, Freddy Sanchez, opened the year on the disabled list and wasn’t activated until May.

This team evolved. A lot.

All told, the Giants had three position players in last night’s lineup who were also in their Opening Day lineup. One of those, Juan Uribe, was playing a different position on Opening Day. Another, Edgar Renteria, went from the No. 2 hitter in April to the No. 8 hitter in October.

The Yankees did some of that this season. When Nick Johnson landed on the Nick Johnson List, the Yankees found top-of-the-order hitters in Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner. When Andy Pettitte went down in the second half, Ivan Nova was a solid replacement. The deadline additions of Kerry Wood and Lance Berkman became significant parts of the roster through the postseason.

There’s a lot to be said for building a roster in the winter — and that’s obviously the focus right now — but there’s also a lot to be said for being able to adjust when some of those winter plans inevitably go wrong. That’s the one thing that most struck me about last night’s game.

Associated Press photo

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154 Responses to “The importance of change”

  1. blake October 28th, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Interesting post….great job by the giants.

  2. MTU October 28th, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Pat Burrell is about as useful as a barnacle on the bottom of a boat.

    In fact the barnacle is more useful. ;)

  3. Erin October 28th, 2010 at 8:51 am

    When Nick Johnson landed on the Nick Johnson List

    ******************************

    :lol:

  4. MTU October 28th, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Off topic-

    If any of you are interested in continuing to see some hiking photos please pass your e-mail address onto Chad and ask him to pass it along to me.

    Thanks.

    :)

  5. Yankee Trader October 28th, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Just a thought: Of the first 18 Giant hitters, 9 worked the pitch count to 5, uncharacteristic of a Lee performance. Was it due to a long layoff? Could he be having back or other physical issues again, which he would quickly deny in lieu of a big payday?

    Kerry Wood apparently has stated that he would be receptive to returning to the Yankees as a set-up man to Rivera, IF, the only closer offers are with poor teams.

    IMO, if the Yankees had traded for Cliff Lee, they would have had homefield advantage, and maybe gotten to the WS, but they were shut down by pitching and poor hitting and “probably would have lost to the Giants. So now we get to keep Jesus Montero, who could be the next Mantle in terms of power, and still have a shot at aquiring Lee. Positive thinking!

    Please do not consider Mike Harkey as the new pitching coach.

  6. Erin October 28th, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Joelsherman1 story from paper http://bit.ly/9O3aO3 on Girardi #Yankees closing in on 3-yr deal

  7. Niblick October 28th, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Beating AJ Lee in October clearly is NOT impossible. Too bad that Genius Joe and Cashman psyched themselves (and their team) out about Javy Lee based upon last year’s World Series. Because of that, they took a dive in September, just to avoid Texas in the first round. And, as Jorge says, you can’t just turn it off and on. And they couldn’t. And their fear of Carl Lee cost them the title this year. Thanks Joe and Brian.

  8. JCPD October 28th, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Wait, I didn’t realize Cliff Lee won four games against the Yanks. I also didn’t realize the Yanks avoided Texas in round one so they could play them in round two. Texas whooped the Yanks backside in four games and the Yanks were fortunate to come back and win game one. They beat the Yanks fair and square.

  9. Fran the original October 28th, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Was nice to see Cliff Lee beat up last night. Wonder if after the fact we find out that Lee’s back was bothering him. When he first came to Texas and got knocked around for a few starts, they blamed it on his back and he missed a few starts.

    MTU,
    I emailed Chad. Looking forward to your pictures :)

  10. lordbyron October 28th, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Enjoyed the game but, once again, Bud Selig impacts the quality of the game with his ungodly postseason scheduling. If he can just extend the games a little longer, maybe each tem can have just one pitcher start all games.

  11. raymagnetic October 28th, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Niblick you are a very clever, witty and wise poster. Please continue :|

  12. raymagnetic October 28th, 2010 at 9:26 am

    In my next life I only hope that I’m at least half as witty as Niblick.

  13. hardwired7 October 28th, 2010 at 9:26 am

    it will be amazing if the Giants can actually win it all w/Pat Burrell “hitting” in the middle of their lineup.

    the great thing about baseball: he could very easily be the guy that gets the series-changing hit.

  14. Mark in Tampa October 28th, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I would love to hear the details of how Girardi and Cashman had a team meeting in which they told Jeter, Rivera, Arod, and everybody else to tank in September so they wouldn’t have to face Texas in round 1. By the results, I am sure that their emphasis was on getting men in scoring position with less than 2 outs and then failing to come up with a hit or even a sac fly.

    Particularly I wonder how they got AJ Burnett to pitch even worse, since he has no idea where the ball is going anyway.

  15. DavidAstoria October 28th, 2010 at 9:31 am

    If Cash just resigned Damon or Matsui we could have kept Swisher and Gardner at the bottom of the lineup

  16. MDD2 October 28th, 2010 at 9:38 am

    RAB tweeted this article a few minutes ago… reminds me of just how fun it has been watching Jeter grow up.

    http://bit.ly/9GAF0M

  17. pat October 28th, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Players Choice award for AL Outstanding Pitcher- David Price.

    NL Outstanding Pitcher- Doc Halladay

  18. Doreen October 28th, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Funny thing about the “non-trying” tactic?

    I know, for me, for the more I “not try” to do something, the more likely it is that I will end up doing exactly what I didn’t want to do in the first place.

    How in the heck do you TRY to lose not just one ballgame, but multiple ballgames? How could anyone seriously put that out there?

    I think because of the compromised health of the team, they made a decision that they would be “okay” with getting a wild card spot, but that doesn’t mean they were “trying” to get the wild card; just that they didn’t envision it as the b-st-rd cousin of the division title, just so long as they got into the playoffs healthy. Which, as it turns out, they weren’t really healthy enough anyway. :?

  19. hardwired7 October 28th, 2010 at 9:44 am

    look who’s the 4th-rated catcher according to Elias:

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....kdown.html

    **spoiler alert**

    it’s Jorge. the reports of his demise have been greatly exaggerated?

  20. Doreen October 28th, 2010 at 9:47 am

    pat -

    Can’t really argue with that one, I think.

  21. Mark in Tampa October 28th, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Doreen,

    I don’t think it was a question of health, I think it was more that they just were in a team slump. We have gotten accustomed to the Yanks slumping at the beginning of the season, but this year was the opposite. They played great right from the start, and until Sept, they were on pace to win over 100.

    Last year, they stumbled from the first month or six weeks, then caught fire through November. This year, they just had the 6 week lull at the wrong time.

  22. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Lee was obviously not himself last night. The Giants did made tons of moves last year. The Giants were able to add tons of ancillary piece to their puzzle during the season, at the deadline and after the deadline. Pat Burrell was a revelation after the Giants picked him up for nothing. Similarly, Cody Ross felt into their laps as some considered as preemptive strike in blocking S.D. Manny Ramirez acquired as a Red Sox cast offs. Javier lopez was similarly brought in for next to nothing from the Pirates. Mike Fontenot was another move that worked in Giants favor as they had the lowest standing among contenders were able to get first dips on all the waiver claims. The immortal Jose Guillen also felt into that category. Of course, the most important change arrived in the form of Buster Posey and Madison Baumgardner, One stabilized the lineup while the other fortified the 4th spot in Giants vaunted pitching staff. It looks to me that Sabean tried a lot small moves and acquire a lot of interchangeable parts to a lineup which added depth and while cost them little. It obviously has worked out in this PS for the Giants. Whether it’s astute baseball judgments or simply luck I can’t say for sure.

    But one thing that stood up about the Giants roster and it’s many drastic changes- most of the deals after trade deadline which the Yanks are most like won’t be in the position to make because by most season they had already secure the top three standings in baseball thus making doing business extremely difficult.

    However, there is something that Cashman can learn from Sabean. That is the importance of the bench depth. NY’s combo of Pena and Cervelli were simply woeful as semi regulars. Yet, Cashman did not or could not address that via trades during the season. The final indictment is really painfully obvious presented on the ALCS roster where none of the Golson, Nunez , Pena, Cervelli and Kearn represented any pinching hit or spot starter credentials. As we move forward to this year, the same scenario will represent itself again except the player will be even a year older. Again, I understand the focus will be on Lee and others. Made no mistake about it, the big pieces will be vital to this team success next year. At the same time, I do wish cashman backs it up with some competent ancillary piece with useful and productive ML leaguers. When you drive an Rolls Royce, why have the worst V8 engine as back up?

    In short, Cashman needs to put a better focus on bench depth given the age of his roster.

  23. Zach S October 28th, 2010 at 9:49 am

    The Marlins are my NL team (except for when they play the Yankees of course) and all I’ve got to say is: CO – DY! CO – DY! CO – DY! One of my favorite players for the fish, very glad to see him doing great in the post season for the Giants.

  24. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Timing is everything! The Yankees limped into the Post Season with a lot of question marks.

    C – Posada was hurt and tried to play the last half of the season through pain.
    1B – Tex was hurt and tried to play the last half of the season thru pain.
    SS – Jeter played hurt. He was obviously banged up and he gutted it out.
    3B – ARod was hurting too. He needed at least a week off to rest. He played thru it.
    RF – Nick’s knee was hurting him big time. He played thru it as well.
    LF – Gardners hand was hurting as well.
    DH – Berkman was hurting all year & his RH batting was non-existent. He gutted it too.
    SP – CC was playing on 1 knee in post season & latter part of the year.
    SP – Andy was hurt and in pain.
    SP – Hughes was pitching on fumes after pitching more innings than ever.
    CL – Mo was hurting too & he is still amazing!

    Given this array of injuries and more I’m sure, the Yanks were fortunate to play & beat the Twins. The Yanks still gutted out 2 wins against the Rangers.

    A healthy Yankee team beats the Rangers. Injuries are part of the game I know, but as SJ pointed out so many times, the Yanks could have afforded to rest players more & differently and maybe some of these guys would have been healthy come post-season.

  25. pat October 28th, 2010 at 9:53 am

    A scout compares/contrasts Lee’s start last night to Game 3 vs. Yankees.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-yo.....um=twitter

    More fastballs, more of the plate and higher in the zone last night than in Game 3.

  26. Mell October 28th, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Giants are the 1st World Series team in 24 years to feature 4 home grown starting pitchers in their Series rotation. Sabean’s taken a beating on some things (got killed early on for going with Molina while Posey languished in the minors for 2 months, general lack of bats, etc.), but that speaks pretty well of his work.

  27. Mark in Tampa October 28th, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Cashmoney,

    I agree with you as far as the bench is concerned. I did not like the Berkman and Kearns moves, because they are older players who give you nothing in terms of speed and defense. The Berkman move I could live with, because he was supposed to DH mostly, but Kearns I did not understand. The Yanks could have used a Hairston type player at the deadline.

    As far as catcher is concerned, I think that they were thinking that Jorge would do all or most of the catching as the games got more important, and they wouldn’t need anything more than Cervelli. In hindsight, I wish they would have picked up Bengie Molina, if for no other reason than he wouldn’t have been hitting against us. :)

  28. Chip October 28th, 2010 at 9:56 am

    This series is over. For the Rangers to win they had to win the three games Cliff Lee would have started.

    Onto some Yankee stuff. The New York Post speculates that the Yankees could move Mike Harkey from the pen into the role of Pitching Coach and promote Josh Paul (pitching coach for Staten Island) whom the organization is very high on to the pen. Paul filled in as the bullpen coach when Harkey took over for Eiland during Eiland’s “leave” and was with the team during the post season.

    The other name mentioned is Rick Kranitz the Orioles’s pitching coach. Buck is not expected to retain him and Kranitz was Girardi’s pitching coach in Florida. He has experienca and a track record of success in working with young arms – something Cashman is always putting a premium on.

    Kevin Long is not expected to go anywhere unless a team just blows him away with an offer.

    The Marlins are leaning towards keeping their manager which means Tony Pena likely stays as does Mick Kelleher.

  29. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 9:58 am

    the Yanks could have afforded to rest players more & differently and maybe some of these guys would have been healthy come post-season.
    —————
    Joe Girardi had extremely limited bench to work with this season. When you do not have a remotely able bench, It is extremely difficult to rest your regulars in a pennant race. I wish Cashman sees that. Maybe some of the options will come from within in the form of Nunez and Laird. But i would not count on it. Similarly we really have zero outfield depth as it stands right now.

    Ramiro Pena should have never been the sole backup infielder due the age of our left side.

  30. CBean October 28th, 2010 at 9:59 am

    We didn’t actually lose the ALCS to Lee. I mean, we lost 1 game to Lee. We lost twice to Lewis. That’s what fills me with shame.

  31. Mark in Tampa October 28th, 2010 at 9:59 am

    “More fastballs, more of the plate and higher in the zone last night than in Game 3.”

    Sounds like the way Colby Lewis pitched in game 6. He was catching a lot of the plate with elevated fastballs at average velocity or below(89-91). His slider frequently had little or no bite, yet all the Yankees managed was 3 hits. I think they got into such a funk that they wouldn’t have hit anybody in most of those games.

  32. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 10:00 am

    hardwired7 October 28th, 2010 at 9:44 am

    LOL! Yes they are! Yankee fans compare all their players to the elite players at their positions. In some cases they split the comparisons, like Jeter is no Ozzie with a glove and he is no ARod with the bat comparing SS.

    A team is what it is. A compilation of good to great players playing with different issues and injuries over a long grueling schedule. Posada, Jeter, Pettite, Mo & ARod display that inner strength to continue to play at a higher level in less than ideal conditions and injuries. The core 4/5 make this team great. They provide stability & leadership as well as set an example of what is expected. Enjoy them while they are still here!

  33. Doreen October 28th, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Mark in Tampa -

    I think it was a combination of both, one feeding off each the other – health/slump – slump/health. In the long run, it really doesn’t matter, I guess. :)

  34. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Mark:
    I think it will be foolhardy to ignore or skimp on the bench again this season. The age is there in Po, Arod and Jeter. Those are three huge cogs in the Yankee’s offensive wheel. The trademark of Yankee high OPS machine relies heavily on the cyclical nature of itself. The absence of any of them without competent backup will have similar impact on the offense again next year.
    That and due consideration given to proper rests for older players as mentioned above practically demands a deep bench with versatility.

    Demands it!

  35. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I totally agree! While Joe G did rest some folks his pattern for doing so seemed extremely strange and incongruent with accomplishing his stated goal. (Most of this has been stated ad nausem)

  36. Doreen October 28th, 2010 at 10:18 am

    You’re not getting all-stars to sit on the bench.

    And the point of Chad’s post is how a bench evolves over the course of a season. The bench you start with is not the bench you end up with.

    I would think the hope is at the beginning of the season, your regular players are expected to play most of the time with an occasional off-day or half-day (DH), at which time, you’re not really looking for an in-kind replacement in the lineup.

    And traditionally, the Yankees have a more difficult time signing bench players due to the fact that their regulars play most of their games. What player worth his salt wants to sit on the bench 85% of the time?

  37. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Lack of versatility hurt the Yankees greatly down the stretch and in the playoff. Kearns is adequate fielder who can’t hit. Thames is rh DH who hits lefties mostly. Vice Versa, Berkman. Golson is a superior defender who could not hit even in the minors Nunez ABs were given to pet favorite Pena even after he demonstrated the hit tool in limited performance and were not add to the roster despite being the best stolen base options over Pena who had practically zero use in the playoff and little during the regular season. It was an extreme one dimensional bench that limited greatly Joe’s options in the PS and late in regular season.

    Again, It doesn’t cost a great deal to address this area of weakness. An astute pick ups or two in players like felipe lopez and bill hall can easily address this issue. Even the red sox cast off jeremy hermida can represent an upgrade in depth and versatility in the OF. Those players can be acquired at a relatively low cost. The problem will remain as when Cashman will address the bench.

  38. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 10:25 am

    A bench of Berkman/Thames, Pena, Kearns, Golson & Cervelli was weak & exposed when Tex went down.

    A 2011 bench of Montero/Thames, Nunez, Laird, Golson & Cervelli will be much better. If the Yanks sign someone like Crawford or Werth and a B Molina like backup catcher to replace Cervelli, then the lineup & Bench could be even greater. (2011 bench of Montero/Thames, Nunez, Laird, Gardner/Swish & B Molina)

    C – Posada/Montero/B Molina
    1b – Tex (BU – Laird)
    2B – Cano (BU – Nunez)
    SS – Jeter (BU – Nunez)
    3B – ARod (BU – Laird)
    LF – Crawford or Gardner (BU – Laird)
    CF – Granderson (BU – Gardner)
    RF – Swish or Werth (BU – Laird)
    DH – Posada/Montero/Thames (BU – Laird)

  39. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 10:29 am

    You’re not getting all-stars to sit on the bench.
    ———-
    No one is asking for ALL STAR on the bench Doreen. The problem was for the majority of season the Yankees had AAA players on the bench when options are available to address it with relatively season ML spare parts with little to no cost.

    Felipe lopez was signed by ST Louis for the bare minimum of 1 mil late in spring training. Similarly Jim Thome and johnny Gomes were also without a job and signed for barely ML league minimum. As you can see, Cashman did not and could not find adequate replacements in season. Marcus Thames was given a non guaranteed in the similar vein. Wynn was choose over Reed johnson. Those pieces don’t cost a lot of money, except for astute baseball judgments and minor shift in focus from Cashman.

    The Giants acquired some major pieces from waiver claims. That scenario will likely never exist for the Yanks as they would unlikely to be low enough in the standing for those player to fall through.

  40. Chip October 28th, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Ray -

    Not that I don’t like your plan, but I have some questions:

    1. Why would Molina sign on to be a third string catcher?

    2. Do we know that Laird can be productive in a back-up role? I know that Cashman’s ideal view is to use him and Eduardo Nunez in much the same way that Tampa uses Ben Zobrist and Sean Rodriguez – that they play most everyday though don’t always have a set position. But, for this year at least, I don’t think he’s going to be able to do that. It takes a special skill set to play once or twice a week and still be sharp. And it’s much harder when you’re not familiar with the pitchers you’re facing.

  41. Doreen October 28th, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Cashmoney -

    I don’t think it’s all that easy to acquire these players as some seem to think it is. We don’t know, for instance, who doesn’t want to come here; or who doesn’t want to “help out” the Yankees (more apt for later in the season); what other issues could be in the way.

    I do agree that bench players with more versatility makes sense. I think they probably will replace Pena with Nunez and I think it’s a good sign for the future that Laird was sent to the AFL specifically to become a more versatile player. Still, we don’t know if he’ll be a good part-time player – I don’t think everyone is good at mostly sitting on the bench and still able to make an impact the few times they play.

    But we come from diametrically opposed points of view, I think, in terms of whether or not we think Cashman knows what he is doing. :)

  42. Jerkface October 28th, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I don’t want Harkey as a pitching coach. Undoubtedly he would work to improve his craft, but I was unimpressed when he was the interim pitching coach for the Yankees. A big, cool guy, but not who I want managing the staff.

  43. LGY October 28th, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Didn’t Felipe Lopez hit like 230 this year and get dumped in the middle of the season by the Cardinals?

  44. pat October 28th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Doreen

    Any idea why m is so quiet lately?

  45. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 10:38 am

    The Yankees core 4/5 need more rest and a rotation of ready for prime time folks or equal vets is more necessary going forward.

    I believe the Yankees tried to reign in their spending in 2010 after winning the WS and based on the economy being in the dumps. I think 2011 will be different. I expect the budget to drift up to $239M to $244M realm. It is possible that some contracts could go down with some defferred personal contracts for Mo, Andy & Jeter.

    So the thought of All-Stars sitting on the bench in waiting isn’t appropriate IMO for the 2011 Yankees. Posada, Jeter, Swish, Gardner, ARod & Tex will need more rest. A rotation of 4 OF’s would supply plenty of ABs especially if the 4th OF were Werth who could play all 3 OF spots & Laird could provide the injury protection spot as well. Laird & Nunez & some Swish even would allow ARod/Jeter/Tex to get rest and not have a Pena like drop off with the bat and still be acceptable defense.

    Building a roster is hard work. I am suggesting easy answers but they cost more money!!

  46. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 10:40 am

    And traditionally, the Yankees have a more difficult time signing bench players due to the fact that their regulars play most of their games. What player worth his salt wants to sit on the bench 85% of the time?
    —————-
    That maybe true 10 years ago when the core four were in their prime. As in evidence this past season, that simply isn’t true anymore. The conversation of luring a capable back up should be a easy one. Here is some decent money and playing time. Cashman can easily show that the 650 ABs alloted btw thames, Cervelli, Pena and kearns can easily represent more playing time for a potential bench player and more importantly resting time for the Jeter, Arod, Posada and the OFers.

  47. Doreen October 28th, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Cashmoney -

    Basically, what we don’t know is whether Cashman reached out about any of those players at all. And at the trade deadline he did replace the AAA call-ups with veterans. We may disagree whether Berkman and Kearns were the guys we wanted, but he did what you said he should do. Kearns started out like a house on fire – then got hurt and was useless the rest of the way (no kind way to say that). Berkman started out slow, but wasn’t a total disappointment over the course of his time here.

    I wasn’t as upset over Wynn – he obviously did not work out here, though. And the minor league call-ups had a hand in a lot of those victories that occurred before the trade deadline (aggregate, not individually).

    Anyway, let’s see what happens this off-season. We know NJ wasn’t Cashman’s first or second choice. I’d be willing to bet Kearns wasn’t the first name he pulled out of a hat, either.

    I think the difference is I’m willing to give Cash & Co. at least a little of the benefit of the doubt.

  48. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Chip October 28th, 2010 at 10:33 am

    LOL! We don’t know about B Molina accepting a part-time role. I was using him as an example of a great defensive catcher who could hit some still. Cervelli was not good defensively or offensively. In an ideal Yankee world, LOL, Posada would catch (start) 70 games in 2011, Montero would catch (start) 40 & the 3rd guy would catch (start) 50. The 3rd guy would also be a defensive replacement after a PR/Late game change as well. That would keep all 3 catchers refreshed and allow the PR’s speed to be used more as well. Flexibility!

  49. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Didn’t Felipe Lopez hit like 230 this year and get dumped in the middle of the season by the Cardinals?
    —————-
    Corret LGY, yet oddly enough , he would still be a far superior offensive force even with a 651 OPS than Pena will ever be even in uncharacteristic down year. But that’s the whole point, the Yankee had a AAA (being generous) players as the sole backup option all season and could improve upon that despite Arod’s prolong injury this year. It also tangential effect on Jeter and others not being able to rest properly.

    It’s really not a stretch to think the Yankees need more depth and versatility in this coming year. And IMO, is a somewhat pressing and vital issue as well.

  50. Doreen October 28th, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Cashmoney -

    It may be true going forward – ARod and Jeter needing more time off. I think this is the first season we really saw evidence of that. I don’t think anyone was wanting 2009 Jeter to sit on the bench. So I’m willing to think that Cashman will approach it that way.

    I think if we see Nunez replacing Pena it will be because they actually PLAN on him having more playing time, whereas last season (and in 2009 to some extent because of ARod), Pena got more playing time than anticipated.

  51. Doreen October 28th, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I read yesterday that B Molina is considering retiring after this season. Star Ledger, I believe.

  52. Chip October 28th, 2010 at 10:49 am

    RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 10:45 am
    Chip October 28th, 2010 at 10:33 am

    LOL! We don’t know about B Molina accepting a part-time role. I was using him as an example of a great defensive catcher who could hit some still. Cervelli was not good defensively or offensively. In an ideal Yankee world, LOL, Posada would catch (start) 70 games in 2011, Montero would catch (start) 40 & the 3rd guy would catch (start) 50. The 3rd guy would also be a defensive replacement after a PR/Late game change as well. That would keep all 3 catchers refreshed and allow the PR’s speed to be used more as well. Flexibility!
    ————————

    Ok, I follow.

    Honestly, I think in an ideal Yankee world Jorge catches between 60-70 games, Montero between 70-80 and Cervelli picks up the scraps.

    Now, we’re a long way from an ideal Yankee world, but I just don’t see them investing any sort of money into a third string catcher.

    Cervelli had an awful year defensively but part of that could have been playing so much he was exposed as being what he is – a back up catcher.

  53. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I think the difference is I’m willing to give Cash & Co. at least a little of the benefit of the doubt.
    —————
    Doreen, my point to knock on Cashman but rather I think the bench depth and versatility will take on a new importance in the coming year.

  54. Doreen October 28th, 2010 at 10:52 am

    pat -

    No. I was thinking the same thing last night.

    In the past it’s been family busy-ness, perhaps her child visiting from college.

    Maybe she’s taking the blog-cation I keep telling myself I need.

    I hope she is okay, though, whatever the reason.

  55. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Chip October 28th, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Yes we know Laird can be a backup player because he can hit and he will get lots of playing time as well spelling ARod/Tex & a corner OF spot. Again flexibility. If Tex & ARod both played 140 games in the field that would allow Laird 40+ games starting in the infield and perhaps another 10 to 25 in the OF. That would mean Laird could start twice a week or more over the season not including any injury times.

    Nunez could spell Jeter 20 games & Cano 15 games and be the pinch runner for a slow catcher/DH in even more games. He could also play some 3B if necessary.

  56. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    *is not to knock on

  57. Wave Your Hat October 28th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    This was Brandon Laird’s slash line at Scranton in 127 PAs:

    .246/ .268/ .344/ .612

    He is not going to start the year in the majors, especially since he is just learning the OF.

    Nunez might, but I think he could easily be dealt in the off-season.

    The Yank bench depends on two things: Whether they sign Lee, and whether they trade Swisher or Granderson.

    If they sign Lee and don’t trade Swisher or Granderson, the bench is going to be all low salary guys. If they sign Lee and trade one of those two, there will be more payroll space for the bench.

    If they don’t sign Lee, then the bench will wait until the 2nd pitcher slot is filled, and depending on how that plays out the Yanks will have a deeper or shallower bench.

  58. Doreen October 28th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Cashmoney -

    I agree with you there. Even Girardi said Jeter did not get the rest he had hoped to give him over the course of the season (specifically after the ASB), and ARod, as well. It’s just a factor now.

  59. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Chip October 28th, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Very true Chip, but Montero isn’t ready to be the main Catcher yet IMO. He has the bat & will be a DH I’m sure as he grows defensively. Cervelli isn’t really very good. Yes he was exposed.

    Doreen, B Molina did say he plans to retire, but if he doesn’t he may stay with the Rangers. I used him as an example, not necessarily the guy, of a great defensive catcher that can at least be a threat to hit some. Cervelli IMO is neither. With Posada & Montero at C in 2011, the Yanks could use a great defensive C.

  60. Gary October 28th, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I think the Yanks got exactly what they should have expected from Nick and Javy. The Yanks had these players before, given all the stats that the Yanks focus on and their previous performance the Yanks moved them along to other teams. I have seldom seen a situation where a player comes back and plays at a significantly different level than they had previously, in that respect neither of these players disapointed they were what they were and guess what they still are. Hard to see how they fit in in the future.

  61. Joe from Long Island October 28th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Good morning –

    1. Wave, agreed that we’re likely looking at a bench with Nunez and Laird at some point, though either guy could go in the right deal. And, while neither Swish nor Granderson is untouchable, I don’t think they’d trade them just to make a deal. It would have to be really worth it to deal either guy. They do bring some significant skills to the table.

    2. Unless someone is unexpectedly available, it might well be Cisco as the backup C, doing about a third of the games, behind Montero and Posada while those two split DH time. Cisco did get exposed somewhat, but I don’t know that good coaching and work can’t remedy that.

  62. Chip October 28th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Wave -

    “low salary guys” doesn’t mean it has to be all rookies.

    Bench players – good bench players – are typically available from 750k – 1mil; salaries that would easy fit in the Yankee budget regardless of whether they sign Lee or not.

    As for Brandon Laird – I agree that he likely opens in AAA which is why I have advocated for the signing of Eric Hinske who is the veteran equivilant of Brandon Laird and far less expensive than other “super utility” guys like Aubrey Huff or Ty Wiggington would be and also more likely to accept a bench role than either of those guys.

  63. Patrick October 28th, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Laird spends all of 2011 in AAA….

  64. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Catching situation is a tricky… It’s a wait and see act for Montero. I think it’s optimistic to think he will step in for 80 games next year. As a contingency plan, I think Ramon Castro, David Ross and Rod Bajaras are upgrades offensively from Cervelli and can be had for a reasonable amount. considered Posada’s age and Montero’s uncertainty. I think 1-3 mil investment in that area is a wise decision.

  65. Patrick October 28th, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Also, Chip, can you explain why you want the Yankees to sign Eric Hinske? He is a bad fielder and only hits left-handed. Considering that the starting Yankee outfielders all hit left-handed as well, I don’t see the need for Hinske at all.

  66. 108 stitches October 28th, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Many factors involved in the long 162 game season. Injuries are a prime factor but how and when a team peaks and what a GM does for upgrades at deadline times counts for a lot.
    Take the ‘Frisco Giants for example. For most of the year they spent chasing the San Diego Padres for 1st place in the NL West and came very close to being the NL Wild Card team.
    Some right things happened. They overtook the faltering Padres, made the ALDS look easy, then surprised the highly favored Phillies and here they are.

  67. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Laird probably won’t be ready til mid season at the earliest. He just got to AAA I think adjustment time will be needed. Not to mention the quantum leap to ML level readiness.

  68. Gary October 28th, 2010 at 11:10 am

    The outfield doesn’t have that dominant guy out there. Just wonder if Crawford is coming and can he play that role?

    Intesting situation on Jorge, if his time at catcher isn’t over it’s probably pretty close, beyond the defensive skills it really a question of if his body can take it. If Jorge doesn’t catch much next year then he is I guess is the DH and the part of the bench players being talked about here.

  69. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Wave Your Hat October 28th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    This was Brandon Laird?s slash line at Trenton was in 454 PAs:
    .291/.355/.523/.878 (w/ 23 HRs & 90 RBIs)

    He still did okay in AAA, but with only 127 PAs it isn’t a good indictor IMO as a bad week or 2 could skew those results big time. His 2010 Trenton results are in line with every other year he has played.

  70. Gary October 28th, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Hot and humid here in Fla. What’s going on up North?

  71. Tom in N.J. October 28th, 2010 at 11:13 am

    The Yankees don’t need a Hinske type player next season. He’s left handed and plays the Of F and 1b.

    They need a bench guy who can play both SS and 3b.

  72. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Chip October 28th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Hinske can’t play 3B so he isn’t really helpful. He is also a lousy OF too. Laird can play all the corners and the AFL should prove that this year.

  73. Wave Your Hat October 28th, 2010 at 11:15 am

    “He still did okay in AAA, but with only 127 PAs it isn’t a good indictor IMO as a bad week or 2 could skew those results big time. His 2010 Trenton results are in line with every other year he has played.”

    How is a .615 OPS at Scranton OK? The Yanks aren’t going to jump him a level, they don’t generally operate that way. I’m not saying Laird won’t be a major leaguer, but I don’t think he’ll be one in April 2011.

  74. Bob October 28th, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Cashman needs to make it right ! Bring back Damon and Matsui !

  75. Vineyard Yankee October 28th, 2010 at 11:18 am

    The GIANTS came up huge last night. Mrs. Lee is pissed again as she was surrounded by the ‘BEARDLY CREATURES’. Their beards smell like w Her eek old stale beer mixed with sweat. Her panties were in a huge knot again last night.

  76. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Wave Your Hat October 28th, 2010 at 11:15 am

    You are probably right Wave. But when I look to see what Yanks have done in the past, Pena et al, I don’t think Laird is a stretch at all. He is good defensively and has an accurate arm. He has a good bat that may get even better. I think he comes up from day 1 as he will benefit from being around ARod & Jeter & Kevin Long in 2011. He will be needed even more in 2012 & beyond. Nunez appears to be the heir apparent to Jeter and I think he will be there from day 1 in 2011 as well. I don’t expect Pena to be on the Yanks MLB roster in 2011.

  77. Vineyard Yankee October 28th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Repost / Typo:

    The GIANTS came up huge last night. Mrs. Lee is pissed again as she was surrounded by the ‘BEARDLY CREATURES’ at AT&T. Their beards smelled like week old stale beer mixed with sweat. Her panties were in a huge knot again last night.

  78. Tom in N.J. October 28th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    At this stage in his career Laird needs at bats.

  79. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 11:23 am

    They need a bench guy who can play both SS and 3b.
    ————
    I am more concern about Arod than Jeter. So along that line, Omar Vizquel, Bill Hall, peralta,
    Felipe lopez , Tejada and Renteria can all fit that bill. The main question will be if Nunez represents an upgrade over any of them and will the Yankee carry two infielders. That is where versatility comes in. Along that line, I wonder if the Yankees will have Nunez play some of OF in the not so distant future.

  80. 108 stitches October 28th, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Brandon Laird will need to be put on the 40-man roster or lose him to the Rule 5 draft of which some team will surely pick him. He could battle it out in spring training with Greg Golson as the extra outfielder.
    Graig Nettles and Mick Kelleher will spend lots of time with Eduardo Nunez in the spring to bring his fielding up to speed.

  81. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Wave Your Hat October 28th, 2010 at 11:15 am

    The difference in 127 PAs (122 ABs) of .246 & .300 is only 6 more hits. Laird hit the ball solidly and he averaged exactly 1 hit a game in AAA. STATS can be very deceiving for small sample sizes.

  82. Erin October 28th, 2010 at 11:27 am

    RiverAveBlues Trivia Time! Guess which MLB manager has led his team to the most regular season wins over the past 3 seasons?

  83. Vineyard Yankee October 28th, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Why in the world would you have a young guy like Laird on the ‘BIG Club’ and have him sit ? He needs to play and develop, not sit and watch.

  84. Erin October 28th, 2010 at 11:30 am

    BloggingBombers The Yankees and Joe Girardi have agreed on 3-year, $9 million deal. Finishing touches being hammered out. Could be announced today.

  85. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I think dats a tricky question Erin. I think Jerry Manuel/ Willie Randolph combo had.

  86. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 11:31 am

    The Yankees will have between 10 and 15 spots available on the 40 man roster for additions & MiLB folks in 2011. Laird & Nunez (already there) & Montero will be on that list.

  87. Giuseppe Franco October 28th, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Carl Crawford isn’t coming to the Yanks. The Yanks have a pretty solid core in their starting outfield as it is.

  88. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Vineyard Yankee October 28th, 2010 at 11:29 am

    IMO, he will play if on the Yanks at least 2 games a week and probably even more as I stated above. Conditioning a player for MLB takes time and he is needed now for potentially all 4 corner spots and he is a power hitting RH bat too.

  89. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Golson as an extra outfielder? I will pass on that one. There is another guy who is barely a competent AAA hitter. My idea of bench players are guys who are professional hitters that can come off the bench and give you a hit and plays adequate defense. Golson isn’t in that mode. He is another Pena in the outfield.

  90. Wave Your Hat October 28th, 2010 at 11:34 am

    RayVT-

    Pretty soon you’ll be telling me why there’s no difference between a .340 hitter and a .280 hitter. 6 hits is a lot in 127 PAs, especially when combined with few walks and low isolated power.

    However, I’m not drawing any conclusions from Laird’s 127 PAs other than he hasn’t earned a promotion yet and IMO the Yanks will decide he needs to succeed at AAA and learn the OF before calling him up.

  91. Vineyard Yankee October 28th, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Damn, they didn’t even bother to interview Torre, Valentine or Randolph ? What a shame.

  92. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Giuseppe Franco October 28th, 2010 at 11:32 am

    I believe you about Crawford. I wonder about Werth though as he is a RH bat that can play all 3 OF spots, especially LF & RF.

  93. Tom in N.J. October 28th, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Juan Miranda’s a free agent?

  94. Ruby Tuesday October 28th, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Trisha baby, where is my new song ?

  95. West Coast Yankee Fan October 28th, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Miranda’s four year deal ended this year. He was afforded ample opportunity to elevate his game to the next level, both in AAA and with the Yankees at the major league level and never did so. I think he has little value as he would have found his way into a deal previously if he did.

  96. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Wave Your Hat October 28th, 2010 at 11:34 am

    LOL! I understand. I weighed more on the AA numbers over a longer time interval than the short time in AAA. From what I’ve read, he looked very good and not overwhelmed in AAA. I expect the AFL expereince and ST will allow him to shine or decide he needs more time in AAA.

  97. Vineyard Yankee October 28th, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Thanks Ray, if he is going to play a couple times a week (first guy off the bench) as opposed to only PH’ing and being a late inning defensive replacement only that would be great.

  98. Wave Your Hat October 28th, 2010 at 11:44 am

    RayVT-

    Sure. I agree we’ll see Laird in the majors, we just disagree some on when. But, while following Laird, don’t forget the AFL is a hitter’s league.

  99. Wave Your Hat October 28th, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Anybody taunting trisha right now is a complete horse’s *ss.

  100. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 11:46 am

    He was afforded ample opportunity to elevate his game to the next level, both in AAA and with the Yankees at the major league level and never did so.
    —————
    WestCoast, to be fair to Miranda. He only had about 100 PA in three year on the ML league with the Yanks. That’s hardly ample. The most factually statement will be he was blocked by Tex and NY will be unlikely to use him as full time DH. Hence, he will never have an opportunity in the Yankee org given his lack of versatility.

  101. Tom in N.J. October 28th, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Jorge Vazquez could be on the bench next year.

  102. West Coast Yankee Fan October 28th, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Montero won’t start the year in the Bronx, he will probably be called up after Memorial day so he wouldn’t be eligible for arbitration until 2014.

  103. Erin October 28th, 2010 at 11:49 am

    New Post: The ones who got away in Atlanta (and the one who got to New York)

    :arrow:

  104. Bronx Jeers October 28th, 2010 at 11:49 am

    The Yankees and Joe Girardi have agreed on 3-year, $9 million deal. Finishing touches being hammered out. Could be announced today.

    ————————————————————————————-

    A little less than I thought it would be. An extra 500,000$ is practically a cost-of-living increase by MLB standards.

  105. Giuseppe Franco October 28th, 2010 at 11:50 am

    # RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I believe you about Crawford. I wonder about Werth though as he is a RH bat that can play all 3 OF spots, especially LF & RF.

    ——–

    I’d prefer Crawford than Werth. Why would the Yanks want Werth? Because he’s right-handed?

    All 3 outfielders they have right now are cost efficient and very productive. There is no reason for them to dip into the FA pool for a Crawford or Werth. That wouldn’t make any sense.

  106. Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Tom I think Vazquez is an interesting case. The guy has a knack in driving in runs wherever he played in the minor. But he rarely walks and is hacktastic by extension and are prone to SO.
    But he may work at a pinch hitter.

  107. West Coast Yankee Fan October 28th, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Cashmoney October 28th, 2010 at 11:46 am

    He was afforded ample opportunity to elevate his game to the next level, both in AAA and with the Yankees at the major league level and never did so.
    —————
    WestCoast, to be fair to Miranda. He only had about 100 PA in three year on the ML league with the Yanks. That’s hardly ample. The most factually statement will be he was blocked by Tex and NY will be unlikely to use him as full time DH. Hence, he will never have an opportunity in the Yankee org given his lack of versatility.

    *******************

    The reason he had limited plate appearances over that period of time is because he didn’t excel. The Yankees developmental and major league staff are capable of evaluating players he never rose to the next level. Four years is plenty of time to evaluate someone.

  108. RayVT October 28th, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Wave Your Hat October 28th, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I understand that, but thanks for reminding me. I believe the Yanks feel he is solid and can play 3B spelling ARod & 1B spelling Tex. The AFL is IMO only to make sure he can spell Swish & Gardner as well. Getting at a minimun an average of at least 2 starts a week on ML level and working with Kevin Long and ARod/Tex/Jeter/Swish etc would be better than spending more time in AAA IMO. I expect him & Nunez to be on Yanks MLB roster from day 1 2011.

  109. Chip October 28th, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Patrick October 28th, 2010 at 11:07 am
    Also, Chip, can you explain why you want the Yankees to sign Eric Hinske? He is a bad fielder and only hits left-handed. Considering that the starting Yankee outfielders all hit left-handed as well, I don’t see the need for Hinske at all.
    —————————

    I don’t look at Hinkse being LH as a problem. I wouldn’t be looking for him to play in a platoon situation, but if you wanted, or needed, to give any one of your four corner players or Granderson (with Gardner shifting to CF) a day off you can plug Hinske in there. He is far and away not a great defensive player at any of those positions but he’s certainly passable as he proved this year in Atlanta.

    As far as his LH swing – first of all that’s not a problem in Yankee Stadium.

    More to the point, he gives the Yankees a LH professional bat that they could platoon with Marcus Thames. So if, for example, Posada goes down with an injury and the Yankees have a hole at DH they can platoon Thames and Hinske much the way they did with Berkman and Thames this year.

  110. Bob October 28th, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Lupica is at it again with you guessed it…..another column, same ol broken record from him…..money can’t buy you championships ! Thanks for the news flash mike

  111. Ruby Tuesday October 28th, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I love the Yankees.

  112. Chip October 28th, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Re: Juan Miranda –

    He’s gone.

    He’s too limited in what he can do to have a role with the club. With Tex at 1b and Posada destined for the DH role there’s no place for Miranda to play. What’s more, he has shown an inability to perform in part time duty off the bench.

    That’s actually something I would explore with guys like Laird and Nunez – have them start the year in Scranton not playing on a regular basis and see how they perform as pinch hitters and part time players since those are likely the roles they will have to fill when they first make it to the bigs.

  113. Chip October 28th, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Bob October 28th, 2010 at 11:53 am
    Lupica is at it again with you guessed it…..another column, same ol broken record from him…..money can’t buy you championships ! Thanks for the news flash mike
    ———————-

    He learned that from watching the Mets

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